The Gemini followed on in role from the wartime M.38 Messenger. The Messenger had been conceived as an A.O.P aircraft, but only 21 were built, and all served as 4 seat VIP transports. The design was successful, and a further 71 were built post-war for civil use. The M.65 used a similar wing and fuselage to the Messenger, but only two fins on the tail. The major change was the move to a twin rather than single engine configuration, and the addition of retractable undercarriage. The prototype (G-AGUS) first flew on October 26, 1945, albeit with temporary fixed undercarriage.
The Mk.1A was powered by 100hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor engines, and had non retractable trailing edge flaps. The Mk.1B experimented with retractable flaps and only one was produced. The Mk.2 featured 125hp Continental engines, and again only one was produced. The Mk.3A did go into production, and featured 145hp DH Gipsy Major 10 engines. A variant powered by 155hp Blackburn Cirrus Major III engines which incorporated larger tail surfaces and a strengthened structure was redesignated as the M.75 Aries, but only two were built. Total Gemini production was 170 aircraft, which ended when the company collapsed in the late 1940's.
Five Geminis made their way to New Zealand over the years. Two survive - one (ZK-ANT) on display at MoTaT (illustrted below), and the other (to be ZK-KHW) is stored at North Shore for as a restoration project.
Thanks to Peter Layne, Colin Hay, and Simon for their assistance with the details.
Last Update:- 2 August, 2001
Data is for M-65 Mk1.A
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© 1999-2001 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved